The upcoming holiday season presents unique challenges, as people strive to spend time with their loved ones despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Why not meet your friends and family for outdoor group workouts so you can reduce your risk and double down on health at the same time? No matter the weather, healthy outside activities can enable socializing while you keep your distance.
Winter sports and arctic research would not have evolved without proper attire and neither can your outdoor workout routines. The selection available at local outfitters today far surpasses what Ernest Shackleton had when he set out on the Endurance, and your experience will surely be milder than his.
Many people overdress for winter workouts. Exercise generates body heat, so dress as if it’s about 20 degrees warmer than the actual outdoor temperature and add an extra layer that you can remove if necessary. Your base layer should be moisture wicking: preferably polyester, definitely not cotton. Add fleece or wool on top of that, and a water- and wind-resistant outer layer. Warm footwear, gloves, and a hat are musts, and a neck gaiter provides warmth and COVID protection because it’s easily adjustable up and down.
Once paths are clear of ice and snow, bike and jog six feet apart and side by side. Four-legged friends will love tagging along.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is scalable, effective, and simple for gathering friends for a sweat session outside. Parks, parking lots, and driveways provide enough space for distancing. Bring a timer, a yoga mat or towel for padding, and some motivation. Choose intervals of work vs. rest and add some moves:
- Lateral toe touch
- High knees. Running in place (harder) or marching (easier).
- Push-ups. On knees (easier). Try a five-second hold in the middle.
- Lunges: every variation one could possibly want, plus a few more.
- Air squats
- Mountain climbers
- Burpees. Nobody loves them, but they’re oh-so-effective.
- Bicycle crunches
- Jumping jacks
- Leg lifts. One leg at a time (easier). Both legs at once (harder).
Those frigid activities you put on your list to try “sometime”? Now’s the time to go for it.
For the serenity minded, try cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or a hike. Or free your inner child and get friends together for sledding, ice skating, or a combination shoveling party/snowball fight.
As we continue to try to stop the spread of COVID-19, these tips give you creative ways to spend time with your favorite people while you follow masking and social distancing guidelines. But if you think you’ve been exposed to the virus, call our hotline at 317-325-COVD(2683) and your doctor. And, remember, we’re all in this together.